Arron ‘AO’ Odom went from class clown to Comedy Central

@aoiscomedy3 | 25,000 Followers

Everyone had a class clown in their grade growing up. Arron Odom just took that role to a new level.

Odom, now better known by his stage name, AO, first did stand-up in front of his classmates at Scotlandville Magnet.

Fifteen years later, the 32-year-old is a regular at comedy clubs around town and even has a special with Kevin Hart set to air on Comedy Central soon.

We caught up with AO to hear about the difficulties of making your name in the comedy scene while constantly adapting to the ever-changing world of social media.

Jack Victor sports coat, $695
R. Hanauer bow tie (worn as pocket square), $55
White shirt, $135
From Perlis

Jeans, belt and shoes
Model’s own

When did you first get into comedy?
I first got into comedy in high school in about 2005. My chemistry teacher allowed me five minutes on Fridays if I would just be quiet in class. She said ‘I will let you do stand-up comedy if you just let me teach my class.’

When did you realize it could be more of a career than a hobby?
[In 2010] I started doing all kinds of events. I didn’t put myself in a box. I can do stand-up comedy clubs, and I actually did a few church events—I can do different rooms. The money started rolling in, and I knew I could do this. I think the biggest thing that changed for me was becoming more active on social media. My manager told me we’ve got to tap into it because we could open up our demographic. So I just started doing videos. Then boom! It just sort of happened—people started following me.

What was the biggest learning curve when trying to tap into the social media audience? How do you make money on that part of it?
Just coming up with original content. You have to find your niche. Eventually I did. I put myself in the position to do promos to help bring attention to smaller businesses. They pay me to make skits for them. I use my own comedic style, and there’s nothing formal about the videos. I stay within the characters that I portray on my social media, and I have different slogans that I say. Then I take those taglines, turn around and make shirts for them, and boom, that’s more money.

Was it more time consuming than you expected to film, edit and post the videos to social media?
I try to make so many in one day so I can stretch it out throughout the week. That allows me an opportunity to have them in my arsenal, and I can just drop them throughout the week. Sometimes I have to take a mental break and not drop a video for two or three days.

You were recently filmed for an episode of Kevin Hart’s show for Comedy Central. How did that go?
The air date keeps getting pushed back, but the way they’re talking, it’s going to possibly be in the summer when it’s released on Comedy Central. They flew me out to L.A. to do the part where I met and got interviewed by Kevin. It was an awesome experience overall. You just know that you’re progressing. That was one of the ultimate moments in my career.

Click here to read more from our Social Stars cover story.

This article was originally published in the April 2019 issue of 225 Magazine.